Snoozing on Clear Skin


Jaelen Gordon, Staff Writer

Do you ever have random acne breakouts and don’t know why? Well here’s something that might be causing them: too little sleep!

Many teenagers stay up late at night whether it be scrolling through their spam accounts on Instagram, watching TikToks, or playing Fortnite.  But skipping sleep is unhealthy in many ways. Some parents may stress why we need sleep and we think they are just being annoying parents, but we really do need sleep. You may have known that not getting enough sleep can cause dark circles under your eyes, but did you know it can also cause acne breakouts? “When we sleep, cell division rates increase and the skin heals damage from the day while cortisol levels decrease,” says New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner.  Zeichner goes on to say that disruptions in the sleep cycle can cause skin inflammation, improper healing, acne, and even rosacea. When you sleep, a natural antioxidant is released called melatonin, which searches for damage that can hurt skin.

Cortisol, a steroid hormone in the skin, becomes over-productive when you stay up late and causes oily skin. Persistently high levels of cortisol can cause breakouts. “Growth hormone is released during the first three hours of sleep but secretion crashes at 2 A.M. ,so ideally you are falling asleep by 10 or 11 P.M. to get the most restorative capabilities,” says board-certified sleep medicine doctor and neurologist W. Christopher Winter, M.D., of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine. Winter authored the book The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It.

Now can you understand where some of your breakouts are coming from?  Will this article help change your nightly routine? Is staying up those extra late hours worth damaging your skin?

In my next article, find out how to fall asleep fast.